Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Some skills never die

This past Sunday at my MIL's, I was working on my Mom's Christmas sweater, and the skein ran out. I had fortunately seen this coming and had packed another skein. However, starting the new skein up presented a bit of a challenge, because I was away from home and therefore swift-less. So I put on my sweetest 'I looove you' expression, leaned towards my husband and asked if he would mind understudying the role of my swift for the day. He got a bit disappointed because he thought I was leaning towards him as a prelude to offer him a knitting lesson! :) Sighing, he reluctantly agreed, on the condition that he be allowed to go to the bathroom first. But as he left the room, my MIL brightly offered to do the job instead. I asked her if she was sure, since it was pretty tedious work.

"Oh sure," she said. "I used to do this for my mother all the time."

Her mom was an avid knitter (and sewer, and cook, and baker, and...). My MIL did not inherit the enthusiasm for needlework, but that didn't change the fact that she had to spend a good deal of her childhood with her arms in a skein while her mother wound yarn. So I slung my skein over her outstretched hands and started up. My MIL started bending her wrists right at the correct moments as I went.

"I still got it!" she said.

Ain't she nice?

Snowdrop cloth for DH's aunt
I think I've done enough so far to merit another photograph:

Note that it is now too huge to fit across the whole of the needle. There are eleven snowdrops running horizontally (although you can't really see the eleventh in the picture because I only just started it). Once I get to fifteen snowdrops, I can start the centre panel. This pattern is really growing on me. You would think that it just gets more and more tedious as the number of snowdrops increase, but my enthusiasm is actually increasing with the number of snowdrops. Don't get me wrong, it's still fiddly and it is a bit frustrating that it takes longer and longer to do a row as I go on, but it's still a very enjoyable pattern. I'm into it.
Spanish Knight sweater for Mom
One pattern set is now complete. And I'm fewer than four rows away from the waistline. I haven't done quite enough yet to merit another photograph, but I'm getting close. However, I have begun to be paranoid that I may not have enough of the yarn for the project. Now, the pattern calls for 11 skeins of Alice Starmore Dunedin yarn, which apparently comes in 170-yard skeins. Therefore, I will need 1870 yards of yarn. I have 10 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold's Silky wool, which comes in a little over 191 yards per skein, so I have 1913 yards of yarn. Therefore, I should have more than enough yardage. However, skein #1 ran out about two-thirds of the way to the hips! It's nervous-making. I could be screwed.

(Sorry for the posting delay today...Blogger was down. Arg.)

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